Sermon: "A Living Hope" by Randy Roberts with Maggie Cotton and Dale Isaeff
Pastoral Welcome: Tyler Stewart
Scripture Reading: I Peter 1:3-9, TNIV read by Jaime Nieto
This weekend we join brothers and sisters in Christ around the world in the re-living, re-experiencing and re-telling of two key events in the story of Jesus. First comes what Christ-followers refer to as Good Friday. Crucifixion day. Day written into the annals of history with “the crimson currency of Calvary” (Dwight Nelson). Day when dreams were shattered. Day of darkness. Day of death. Day when hope died and was buried.
It was in reference to that day that, two days later, the two disciples on the road to Emmaus referred when they said: “… but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21, TNIV. Italics added). Read between the words—between the lines—in that statement and you hear the sound of hope expiring. It’s over. It’s no use. There’s nothing left but to weep and lament and mourn. Our most fondly-held dreams have no tomorrow.
On Friday evening of this singular weekend, we gather to remember that day. As we do, while it is difficult to do so, we enter into those dark experiences in our own lives. We ponder those moments that St. John of the Cross called, “the dark night of the soul.” It is in those moments that we realize how utterly bleak life would be were it not for the second key event of that weekend: resurrection morning!
Commonly referred to as Easter, the morning of the resurrection changed everything! In fact, one of the central participants (in a very painful way) of the events of that weekend so long ago was the apostle Peter. Without doubt, he could tell in poignant, painful prose the story of that Good Friday. But, because of the darkness he experienced that night, because of the pain he experienced in those hours, the promise of resurrection morning was all the sweeter.
In fact, listen to how he would describe that experience many years later: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead…” (1 Peter 1:3, TNIV). Joy! Life! Future! Hope!
Join us this weekend as we journey through darkness and into light; through the tomb and into resurrection; through hopelessness and into a new and living hope! Christ is risen!